Pacific Magazine - Volume 24, Number 2

International students enrich FPU

Enrollment of 3,603 marks 51 percent increase in three years

he 3,603 students in class at FPU in the fall of 2011 represent an increase of 9 percent over this time in 2010, and 51 percent over the last three years.

With official figures available as of the university’s 16-day census September 23, enrollment is up in traditional undergraduate, bachelor’s degree completion and graduate programs, including the seminary.

“We have increased in total numbers, academic readiness and diversity,” said Stephen Varvis, Ph.D., vice president of enrollment management. “There are possibilities here for extending the mission and vision of the university and providing the excellence in Christian higher education that we offer throughout the Valley and world.”

Some 1,145 students are in the traditional undergraduate program, designed for those coming directly from high school or another college, up from 1,043 in 2010 and 100 above the previous record. Of these, 436 were new students.

The entering class is not only larger, but better prepared and more ethnically diverse. The average SAT score was 1,030, up from 1,004, and the average grade point average was 3.59. At the same time, the number of students identifying themselves as Hispanic grew from 28 percent to over 30 percent.

Degree completion, where students are older and have some college and work experience, recorded an increase from 1,288 to 1,393. A new regional center opened in Merced September 19, joining those in North Fresno, Visalia and Bakersfield. An expansion at the North Fresno Center is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2011.

Graduate enrollment rose by 82 students over fall 2010 to 1,065, the largest number since at least 2002. The 265 new students include 35 from Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, bringing seminary enrollment to 116 students, up from 111 in fall 2010.

The large increases of the last three years have brought reflection as well as celebration. “We need to think about our enrollment goals and capabilities to ensure each student gets the academic, professional and ethical education that sets FPU apart. There is a lot of potential here,” Varvis said.

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